Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Kindle DX is dead...

...and Amazon's customer service is alive and well.


So there I was, on the train, settling in for 30 minutes of reading in the AM.


Around me, others are tapping at email, spreadsheets or, heaven forfend, PowerPoint presentations. Others are reading, books that is, listening to iPods, or just dozing. I do a lot of that last on trains.


Out comes my Kindle, I open the cover and flip the on/off switch to wake it. First thing I notice is the screen-saver image remains on the screen. Looking more closely, I see the text of the book I'm reading behind it.


OK. We've been well trained in the software industry. If there is a problem, reboot (I can hear readers of dead-tree format books laughing, and bragging that they never have to reboot an honest-to-god book printed on honest-to-god paper as St. Guttenberg intended). I will concede the point.


So, reboot my Kindle I did. All the text and image that had been on the screen remained, now augmented by a flood bar as the software reloaded itself. Hitting menu added a menu to the mess. Dismissing the menu left the ghost of a menu on the screen.


Things were not good - and re-booting again wouldn't help. I know this, because I tried.


About this time I noticed the band of bright lines running down the screen, about a third in from the left margin. They ended in a triangle, small, perfectly formed, and quite out of place on my Kindle's screen.


I've seen the like on LCD screens that have suffered trauma. But this is not an LCD screen, and the only trauma being suffered here was by me.


I turned the device off, returned it to my case, and settled back to listen to Bach's Goldberg Variations on my iPhone. I can avoid problems with the best of them.


Later, at the office, I clicked on the "Contact Me" button on Amazon's Kindle Support page. I clicked, my phone rang. Impressive. Yes, I know a computer called me, but it did tell me the average wait for a human was under a minute. It had barely finished advising me of this when I got my very own human speaking to me.


He was quite thorough. We tried all the things I had tried on the train. The results were the same. So, he said they would send me another, along with a "return to sender" pre-paid label for my defunct Kindle.


He then said something about an estimated delivery date and the word "tomorrow". I understood this to mean I would receive an email regarding the estimated delivery date on the morrow. (I can extrapolate with the best of them too.)


No. He took pains to ensure I understood that I had heard incorrectly. The estimated delivery date itself was the following day. My goodness!


Later that day I received an email thanking me for the purchase of a Kindle DX. Looking more closely, I discovered this was the registration email. My new Kindle already knew me.


And, indeed, early in the afternoon the following day, the Kindle arrived. In little time, I had downloaded about 20 of my books. That would be enough to be going on with. The remaining 100+ are archived on Amazon's cloud. I can retrieve any one of them with a click or two on my Kindle and have it "whispernet-ed" to me over the air.


I was unhappy that my Kindle died. Amazon made me forget that with their impressive response.




4 comments:

  1. "If there is a problem, reboot (I can hear readers of dead-tree format books laughing, and bragging that they never have to reboot an honest-to-god book printed on honest-to-god paper as St. Guttenberg intended). I will concede the point."
    I don't think there is anything to concede here. How does one 'reboot' the dead tree format whose pages fall out? I don't break spines, but I've had numerous books shed pages on me. I love my kindle.

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  2. Hmmm... think I'll go check out my DX.
    BTW, do you have a cover? The cover is causing hairline cracks on the regular Kindle, but I bet the same problem will be happening on the DX (same cover). Check near the screen, lefthand side as you face it.
    I do adore amazon's customer service vis a vis the kindle. Happy reading! Peace, Linda

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  3. Yes, I bought the cover with the DX. I haven't seen any hairline cracks in my, now dead, Kindle DX and the new one is, as yet, perfect. :)
    My Kindle Mark One has cracks and now no longer holds its cover on - but I no longer use it anyway.

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  4. True Laura. But my Kindle DX didn't last as long as the books you mention. And ones that shed pages early, they are just suffering from a manufacturing flaw - which may have been the problem with my Kindle.
    I still love my e-readers, Kindle and earlier. None has been perfect, but all have been, at least, very good.

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